East Texan battling cancer has warning for others

By LaKecia Shockley - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

NEW LONDON, TX (KLTV) - The controversy on the governments new mammogram guidelines hits close to home for one East Texan battling with breast cancer.

At 47 years old, Lacretia Montana has stage four breast cancer.

"I had no clue," she said. "When I went to the hospital and I got to where I knew what was going on and they told me that I had cancer. I sat there and cried for days."

Just eight months ago, Montana was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer that spread to her bones.

"It was a blow 'cause I thought I was pretty healthy," said Montana. "I did everything everybody told me to. I've lost my hair, I've lost my finger nails, [and I'm] loosing my toe nails because of it."

Since the age of 16, Montana has found multiple lumps on her breast. So many that her breast cancer became aggressive.

"I'm on chemo the rest of my life," said Montana. "I just try to stay stronger and try not to fall cause my bones are brittle."

Now, Montana has to take dozens of pills every day just to ease her pain. But, a bigger and harder pill for her to swallow is hearing the new recommendation that women under 50 should not get mammograms.

"I was livid," she said. "They definitely need them, no matter what. Do we need to stop and all wait until we're 50 years old to find out if we're going to die or not? If I would have waited to 50 [years old], who knows, I might not have been here."

Her oncologist, Dr. Linda Couch agrees.

"If you're the one who had a cancer that was curable that we didn't catch it early and you die of that cancer, is it worth the others who had the scare?" asked Dr. Couch, with the Longview Cancer Center. "If you're the one, it's absolutely worth it."

It is a worthy detection measure that Montana hopes every woman will take advantage of.

"If it helps one person, my job's been done," said Montana.

©2009 KLTV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.